Why the Debt Strike is Not Impossible

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2020-03-21 10:00 - 14:00

Why the Debt Strike is Not Impossible

Joshua Ramey

March 21, Saturday, 10am-2pm

Debt destroys solidarity. Because we are all drowning in debt we can’t support one another, let alone our own children, in the simplest and most basic ways. But this is an ancient problem—we don’t need loans because we’re poor, we need loans because there are creditor classes who own wealth hordes.  Inequality is the effect of an illusion, a kind of optical illusion: what is actually an effect of the breakdown of social life (the very existence of a creditor class) is taken as the cause of social life itself (lending as “investment”), and since there is no access to society, or life, outside of one’s ability to take loans, to be creditworthy, this illusion is self-confirming.  If you can’t depart from meeting the demands of the creditors in order to live, you help others at the direct cost of your life. The only solution is to break the power of the creditors…

This seminar is about the “impossibility” of a general debt strike in the sense that it seems impossible to most people—unrealistic, terrifying, hopeless, insane—and that the psychic and even religious bondage that submission to the creditors carries with it is what makes a strike impossible.  So the debt strike is not metaphysically or physically impossible. It’s ideologically uncomfortable and logistically challenging. It feels impossible.

The seminar is about what holds us back.  Why haven’t we used debt strikes already?   There are tactical difficulties with it—getting enough people to do it, altogether, at the same time, so that the repressive apparatus of the state cannot pick off isolated individuals. (From an interview. Read the entire interview below)

Date: Saturday, March 21, 10am-2pm (EST- Eastern Time Zone)

Registration and Cost: Made free in solidarity with everyone in need of inspiring interaction in this time of the COVID-19 crisis

Facilitator: Joshua Ramey is a writer, teacher, and activist who studies political economy and anti-capitalist political theory.  He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Villanova University (2006) and is currently Visiting Assistant Professor in the Interdisciplinary Concentration in Peace, Justice, and Human Rights at Haverford College.  He is the author of The Hermetic Deleuze:  Philosophy and Spiritual Ordeal and Politics of Divination:  Neoliberal Endgame and the Religion of Contingency.

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The seminar’s virtual meeting will be on the Zoom application. Your meeting ID number is 454373612. Please type this number on your Zoom application or click this link to join the meeting. As explained in this instructional video, the link would direct you to install its application if you do not already have it. You can also use this link to directly download the app or visit Zoom’s website.

Please join the online seminar room 15 minutes before the set seminar time. All times are according to the Eastern Time Zone (EST).

View seminar recording


This is an edited section of the four and a half-hour long seminar with extensive participation and discussion.